The short story begins with an exposition about an unnamed man, who is very preoccupied with his physical appearance:

He had no body hair. Every Friday evening, standing naked before his full-length mirror, he made sure of it. His fingers stroked and probed his skin, and with tweezers, razors and depilatory cream he removed any offending growth. Clean armpits, no ugly squiggles on his chest, no pubic hair polluting his penis and testicles. (p. 62, ll. 1-6)

We also l…



The next section of the story, “Embankment” (p. 64, l. 27), which introduces the rising action, begins in medias res. Note that the following sections also begin in medias res, or in the middle of events, and then provide backstories on the characters.

In “Embankment”, a character named Berto is confused by the Underground map. Various details hint at his backstory (p. 63, ll. 28-36), which is later explained in more detail. This backstory helps explain why Berto is lost in the Underground. Berto’s thoughts suggest an inner conflict about what to do in this situation, but also about his presence in London: “Berto wondered if he should get off and ask someone” (p. 67, ll. 15-16); “But how?” (p. 67, ll. 22); “Why was he here?” (p. 67, l. 38)

In the “Leicester Square” chapter (p. 66, l. 15), the backstory on the unnamed man is further developed, as we learn how karaoke night was cancelled, and how he …



In the brief falling action, the unknown man exits the subway carriage, and the man who was reading a book leaves as well, seemingly ignoring or not noticing what has just happened to Berto.

Berto is alone in the carriage, and he has fallen to the floor. He observes his own blood forming a red line and remembers he was supposed to reach Cathy’s home by taking the Red Line on the Underground map:

He fell to the floor and lay there wat…

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